Le Butcherettes' frontwoman, guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter Teri Gender Bender (Teri Suarez) remains the sole original member over the band's three albums. The only constant musical collaborator has been producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. On A Raw Youth, their collaboration goes for broke. Gender Bender's early underground punk attack -- equally informed by L.A.'s underground tradition and the party music of her native Guadalajara -- has evolved to include new wave, electro, and even mainstream arena rock without conceding a creative inch.
Punk trio standing up for the downtrodden. Fans of The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In’s Oman Rodriguez-Lopez (who produces here) will be familiar with Le Butcherettes frontwoman Teri Gender Bender from his Bosnian Rainbows project. But, fine as that band is, the Mexican singer is even more of a force to be reckoned with as part of this punchy trio.
It’s funny, how well-intentioned male rock fans often glance once at outspoken girls with guitars and compare them exclusively to other outspoken girls with guitars. True, Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes wears her PJ Harvey badge on her sleeve; true, she plays wicked guitar and dominates the space around her, not as a victim or a sprite but as a total BEAST. And yes, four years ago, you could easily file Sin Sin Sin as a fledgling revolt, tumbling on stilts and tearing down paintings and dueling misogyny and laughing at every step.
After years of circling the rock mainstream, buoyed by collaborations and co-signs from legends and maestros, Le Butcherettes are finally poised to kick the door down into popular consciousness. The Mexican garage punk band led by Teri Gender Bender goes for its most straightforward sound yet on A Raw Youth. If they stumble occasionally, that’s only because of the white-knuckled grip they keep on what makes them unique.